By David Poland email@example.com
Weekend Estimates by Len Who’s Been Doing This For More Than 20 Years Klady
SLUMP! This is your weekly reminder, so that when someone does throw out some stupidity about an alleged slump on a whim, just how stupid stats can be, This is the fifth of the last six domestic weekends to be DOWN against the year before… off an estimated 5%! Previous negatives were estimated at 24%, 7%, 11%, (+32%), and 18%. On the other hand, this is the highest grossing Start Of Summer until June 24 in history, with an estimated $1.82 billion, up 6.5% from last summer. About $495m of this summer’s domestic total so far has come from movies with 3D compared to about $550m from movies with 3D last summer to this point. The domestic year, btw, is up an estimated 10.5% from last year.
So if you were to believe the logic/lie that argued that there was slump in The Paper of Record starting in 2005 (and to which the paper has continued to commit, when convenient, infecting other media), you would have to be raging about the horrible box office summer we are having. And the cost of some of these movies is a different issue that’s reasonable to discuss in context. But slump hyping is not about that context. It is about the notion that “people aren’t going to the movies anymore,” which is just a straight lie, up and down.
And now back to this weekend…
Brave is Pixar’s 10th release since 2001 and all but two of those releases opened to between $60.1m and $70.5m (Toy Story 3 above and Ratatouille below). That’s led to domestic grosses between $191m and $293m. Worldwide, it’s between $462m and $848m. The opening grosses and the totals do not really coordinate in any clear way.
So the answer on Brave is, “who knows?.” 200/500 is a fair bet. 250/650 is a fair bet. There is just no way of knowing until the film has played longer in the US and then, around the world.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter just never got sticky, beyond the core audience. Personally, I think that there is a problem for marketing with a premise that clear and that wacky that takes itself so seriously. The publicity for the film was often fun. But the marketing felt a bit like Wanted, which was way over the top, but predicated on that self-seriousness to be campy fun. Jolie is, in a way, a signal that it will be over the top, as she is visually over the top. “Someone you’ve never seen before in your life is Lincoln… and he’s going to kill vampires in slow motion” is a tough f-ing sell to all but the ComicCon Core…or as it has evolved, The Geek 15 (formerly the Geek 8 and the Geek 12).
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a bad title for a studio under new ownership.
Moonrise Kingdom expanded to 394 screens (+217) and added about 52% to its gross. It also passed Marigold Hotel, now descending, on a weekend for the first time. The film isn’t going to catch up to what will be Marigold’s $40m+ domestic haul. However, it’s within a few days of being in the upper half of Wes Anderson grossers and with these solid numbers, has a good shot at Anderson’s $20m – $30m domestic club, which is the top for all of his movies except for The Royal Tenenbaums.
To Rome With Love has a nice, but not thrilling 5 screen opening with a $75k per-screen. It’s pretty much impossible to know whether Sony Classics will find a significant audience outside of the big cities, as they did for MiP last summer. My sense is that SPC will be doing well to get more than a third of the audience from last summer for this one.